The effects of poor sleep can show up the following day in various ways. Feeling cognitively slowed down is a common effect of poor sleep. Attention, decision-making, memory, and creativity are just some of the mental abilities that start to suffer. Some people feel symptoms of depression. These symptoms may include having a low mood, and feeling irritable, short-tempered, and exhausted. As a result, sleep-deprived individuals may withdraw from activities or people that they tend to enjoy. The bottom line is that people who do not get enough sleep and/or good quality sleep struggle to function optimally.
However, it’s not just temporary daytime effects that we are talking about. When poor sleep is ongoing—whether it’s due to chronic insomnia, situational sleep problems, or another sleep disorder—other serious risks start to emerge.
In terms of physical health, chronic poor sleep increases your risk of high blood pressure, weight gain and obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep-deprived individuals also show higher levels of inflammation and stress hormones in the body, both of which can contribute to chronic disease. Risk of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse is also elevated. In turn, these physical and mental health effects can affect how a person functions in their personal and professional lives.
It makes sense then that the burden of sleep deprivation and chronic insomnia is high, both for the individual and society. People who struggle with their sleep are at risk for missing more days of work, experiencing reduced productivity, and making errors. Importantly, they are also more likely to cause accidents due to fatigue—nearly 20% of fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver.
The good news is, getting your sleep back on track will positively affect your daytime functioning, along with your physical and mental health. If you’re ready to address your sleep issues, let us show you how we can help.
Refer HALEO to your employer, or take our screener to join our virtual clinic and discover more about your sleep.